How important is it to collaborate with your customers?

Sumesh Krishna, Partner

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COVID-19 has brought a major shift to the businesses, customer preferences and interests. It has become a question of survival for entities as they adapt to the new technologies during this crisis. Even as the pandemic strikes the world, people have found measures to overcome its repercussions on the economy. The customers in various businesses; have also started to make use of the technology, for their day to day needs irrespective of age factor. The software and technology companies will benefit and recover strongly from this catastrophe if they pay attention to the changing needs of the customers.

Changing consumer preferences

The current restrictions in the free flow of businesses have brought in changes in customer expectations and preferences. They have chosen digital alternatives even for their daily needs. The online business trend was in showing consistent growth before the outbreak of the pandemic. Still, as the situation demanded people to stay indoors, online businesses accelerated like anything.

The online services have received full recognition for its convenience. Online services such as food delivery, grocery, online streaming and educational services have had a considerable rise in the number of users in the past few months even the governments offered their various services online, which is paving the path to e-governance. As many entities are coping up with this crisis, there are still many other services that had a terrible downfall.

The technological advancements in the general public have helped in retaining the software companies business and growth. The cloud-based connectivity tools have become a saviour for these entities. The work from home culture has become the new normal. WFH mode not only connected the enterprises with its employees on time but also help them to optimize the costs during the pandemic.

Valuing customer needs

Software and technology companies have started coming up with solutions for the changing preferences of the customers. Adaptation of technology by entities to understand the expectations and preferences of the customers are at its fast pace. They are using available technology to make the customers life more comfortable. It is essential to maintain close ties with the customers, and every entity is trying hard to level up to the requirements of their customers.

Those enterprises which have not yet made use of the available technology shall go forward into improvising themselves to be made available to their customers. The digital world has taken over to reality. The software and digital platforms have access to data analytics and related insights; thereby gaining a deep understanding of their customers’ and partners’ buying behaviours. As they recommit to the core values, which include a sharp focus on customer needs, they have a clear idea of how to come up with innovation to provide results.

Digital platforms have attracted new customers who are staying at home especially during this pandemic, like Netflix, UberEats, Doordash and Postmates. Platform companies are well-advised to preserve these relationships even after the plight and to monitor unit economics by managing scaled infrastructure and by challenging transaction volume predictions. The streaming companies, at the same time, keep their customers engaged for the long term with their muscular content libraries.

The global pandemic has necessitated enterprise software companies in adopting a modern approach to connect more deeply with their customers.

In order to recover from this crisis, the software and digital platform companies are collaborating with their customers to create a thriving environment post-COVID-19.

  • Do thorough research on your customers

The customer impact from COVID-19 varies from segment, industry, geography and market position. The present scenarios have directed the customer’s attention to software and technology companies. It is essential to understand the customer before serving their needs. Customers depend on the software and technology companies even for their tiniest need today, so it is necessary to determine what tools and technologies are required to suit their needs, from price stability to talent deployment and to cloud connectivity. You can also use data and analytics to analyze the buying behaviour of the customers and to identify new customers. It is also necessary to incite relations with former customers and to increase demand for new products based on customer priorities.

  • Key points
  1. Assess customer impact by segment, industry, geography and market
  2. Determine the tools and technologies required to meet the needs of the customers.
  3. Deploy data analytics to understand the buying behaviour of the customers on time and to spot new customers.
  4. Incite relations with former customers; scale-up to meet new demands.
  • Expand boundaries of the sales team

Customers demand solutions for their needs and during this time, they expect it to be timely. In order to provide quality services to your customers, it is vital to train your team Keep your sales team connected and within the system as it will help them to inform the channel partners about the priorities of the customers. It is necessary to meet your ecosystem players virtually (partners of your channel partners, such as their developer network) where they offer online versions of conferences, events and certifications at reasonable rates.

  • Key points
  1. Stay connected with the channel partners to update customer needs and to enhance consumer values.
  2. Invest in ecosystem players at reasonable rates for online training and events.
  • Embrace customer success models

The customer success teams focus on the customer’s business goals, unlike the traditional sales focus on products, features and upgrades. They function as business partners through the entire business cycle of the customers by advising them in real-time. They work as an in-house team, on-site mostly. You can evaluate your customer success team using rating criteria and aligned with customer’s needs.

  • Key points
  1. Focus on the customer’s business goal.
  2. Function as an in-house team or a business partner by advising them in real-time.
  3. Make use of rating criteria to evaluate customer success team aligned with customer’s goals.
  • Innovate

Innovations are necessary for any business to grow. The customers are giving licenses to businesses to come up with new offerings, products, services and more realizing that they gain from these innovations as long as privacy measures are intact.  It is mandatory to stay connected with the engineers, product managers, field sales teams and channel partners who know about the customer’s priorities and needs.

  • Key points
  1. Go ahead with developing new offerings, products or services as per the customer’s requirement.
  2. Pass on the consumer benefits of each innovation
  3. Ensure privacy
  • Upgrade your brand

It is your services that help customers to measure the quality of your brand. Above all, the customers should be aware of the brand to purchase your services. It would be best if you leveraged know-how to live their purpose and partner with other organizations to serve the communities in need. Providing opportunities for customer philanthropy is also part of elevating your brand.

  • Key points
  1. Serve communities in need by partnering with organizations.
  2. Provide opportunities for customer philanthropy.

COVID-19 has given a kick start to the software and technology companies to success. They thrive to achieve their goal by creating a close relationship with their customers and by giving prior priority to their needs more than the company’s aims. They consider the on-going change in the preferences of the customers while planning a new strategy, and has also succeeded in connecting the world virtually.

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